THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what looks like a potential menace, individual monkeys are being spotted in various areas across the city. While forest officials have different theories on how the bonnet macaque reached the city, the residents of Pattom, Kuravankonam, Jawahar Nagar, LMS and Thycaud have confirmed the sightings.
Thiruvananthapuram zoo also receive calls from people who ask whether any of their bonnet bacaque has escaped from captivity. Forest officials have been alerted by people on monkeys frequenting their apartment balcony.
“We had sighted a monkey at LMS before a few months and now there are two bonnet macaques there. Another stray monkey had come into the zoo but we darted and quarantined it to prevent spread of infection disease to our animals,” said zoo veterinarian Jacob Alexander. Experts say monkeys could form groups and breed. They can form territories and even attack people when they run out of food or feel threatened.
“They could be coming in through interstate trucks that enter the city from Thenmala area. Since they are individuals, they move quickly unnoticed before we can spot and dart them. Cages may not work as there are no big groups,” said Range Forest Officer S.V. Vinod.
Monkey menace is high in areas like Moozhi near Aanad, Thattathumala near Kilimanoor and Vengamala near Venjaramoodu where forest officials have installed cages to catch them. Seasonal monkey visits have increased on
foothills of Mookunnimala and as far as Malayankeezhu and Peyad due to habitat destruction.
“A group of 50 monkeys used to regularly pluck my tamarinds, coconuts and jackfruit in the past months before summer,” said poultry farmer C. Rejikumar of Pravachambalam. The DFO has appealed to the people to call the rapid response team of forest department on 8547-602951 if any monkey exhibits violent behaviour or does mischief to the people.